When my work wife brought up the idea of taking a trip after our respective hellish summer schedules, adding, ‘I just want to see some art, eat good food, and drink wine,’ it was easy to say yes. After debating a few possibilities, we decided on one week in southern Spain since we should enjoy moderate temperatures there even at the end of September, and because it’s on the inexpensive side.
We’re still in the early planning stages of our trip, with just a rough itinerary planned and our hotels reserved so far. We’re spending our first two days in Madrid. In between eating tapas, we know we’ll visit the two main museums in Madrid, the Prado and the Reina Sofia, as well as the Royal Palace. After that, we’re taking the AVE train to Andalucia for the rest of our week in southern Spain. We’re spending a day each in Cordoba, Seville, and Granada, before heading to Marbella along the Costa del Sol for two days.
Usually, I would be against such aggressive city hopping, but between the short, fast (not to mention relaxing!) train rides and a setting a leisurely sightseeing pace in each city, I think it will work out. Plus, the final two days spent at a beach side resort will ensure that we head home totally relaxed.
Two weekends ago I ventured to western Massachusetts for a girls weekend in the Berkshires. The geographic spread of the Berkshires is actually quite sizable and covering a lot of ground is somewhat impeded by winding roads, some of which may or may not be paved! That being said, we still packed in a lot during our 48 hours in the Berkshires.
Sleep: We chose to stay in the quaint The Porches at Mass MoCA. The hotel is across the street from the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and is made up of a row of Victorian-era row homes that have been converted into the hotel. Our room was generously sized and comfortably fit the three of us, two queen beds, a sitting area, and a spacious bathroom complete with a claw-foot soaking tub. I would highly recommend The Porches given its reasonable (for the area) prices, but would recommend that you request a second floor room (we found the first floor to be noise-y given the in-and-out traffic) and be prepared to drive quite a bit as it’s located in North Adams, which is just about as far north as you can go before you hit New Hampshire.
I’m fresh off my final trip to New York City (for the month of July of least!). I’m a big believer in maximizing my business travel and taking advantage of the sights and eateries of whatever city I’m in. That’s especially easy in a place like New York City, where restaurants are open until the wee hours and museums routinely offer “late” nights. Here’s a couple of highlights from spending summer in New York City.
My office is in Chelsea, making lunches and dinners in Madison Square Parka necessity. I’ve always been a big fan of Shake Shack and given that it hasn’t branched out to the West Coast yet, I often find myself grabbing a meal here any time I’m in NYC. Hot tip: get the chick’n shack and a summer shandy (1/2 beer + 1/2 lemonade).
This past week I had to stay through Saturday so I took advantage of the late hours at the Met on Friday evening. I spent the majority of my visit in the Costume Institute’s Manus x Machina exhibit. The exhibit was juxtaposed handmade and machine-made items, with pieces that were on the runway quite recently to pieces from the late 1800s. I think my favorite piece were from a Dior collection just a couple of years ago that featured beautiful pleated skirts with grosgrain ribbon details – the video that illustrated the process for creating these pieces was mesmerizing!
I also made it a point to get up early one morning to enjoy wandering around Chelsea and the West Village. Each townhome compliments its neighbor, but also has its own unique character. I love stopping to admire the iron-wrought railings, brass door knockers, and flower boxes.